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Valtteri Filppula, Flyers defeat Panthers in shootout

Ties game in third period of Philadelphia debut, Jakub Voracek scores deciding goal

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Valtteri Filppula tied the game midway through the third period of his debut with the Philadelphia Flyers, and Jakub Voracek scored in the third round of the shootout to give them a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

After Voracek beat goalie James Reimer with a shot between his pads, Steve Mason clinched the victory with a save on Jonathan Huberdeau in the bottom of the third round.

Filppula was acquired Wednesday in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Mark Streit.

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Flyers highlights

 

"I thought I started pretty well," said Filppula, who was plus-1 with three shots on goal in 15:12 of ice time. "Second [period] was a little tougher. In the third, we were able to create some chances. Was nice to see."

Filppula tied the game 1-1 at 10:38 of the third when he tipped a Brayden Schenn centering pass by Reimer.

"It was a really good pass," Filppula said. "Just trying to go to the net and hit my stick. Happy to see it go in. Definitely a real nice play by him."

Mason made 39 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout.

James Reimer made 35 saves through overtime for Florida (29-23-11) after relieving Roberto Luongo to start the second period.

Video: FLA@PHI: Reimer robs Voracek twice in OT

Luongo sustained a lower-body injury during the first period. Coach Tom Rowe said he likely will be out a week.

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 11:34 of the second period with his first NHL shorthanded goal.

Philadelphia (30-26-7), which has won consecutive games for the first time since winning three in a row Jan. 22-26, trails the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs by three points in the race for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. New York has one game in hand on Toronto.

The Panthers are one point behind the Islanders and Maple Leafs.

"We battled hard for a point, and when it goes to shootout, it's kind of unfortunate that a game like that has to be decided in a shootout," Reimer said. "But I think we worked hard, and it's a valuable point."

 

Goal of the game

Voracek skated wide down the right wing before beating Reimer through the five-hole from the hash marks for the deciding goal, his first of the season. His five shootout goals lead the Flyers.

Video: FLA@PHI: Voracek beats Reimer five-hole in SO

 

Save of the game

Mason gloved Panthers center Aleksander Barkov's shot while he was falling backward with 18.2 seconds left in the third period.

 

Highlight of the game

Ekblad stepped up at center ice and intercepted a breakout pass by Flyers center Claude Giroux. As he entered the Philadelphia zone, he deked around Giroux and beat Mason to the far side, past his glove, from the left faceoff circle. Ekblad joked that he "blacked out," then said, "Just a different kind of play for me. I've never made a play like that in my life."

Video: FLA@PHI: Ekblad steals, dances around Giroux for SHG

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Panthers had six blocked shots during three first-period power plays for the Flyers.

 

They said it

"I thought it was a great hockey game. Sure, we made some turnovers in certain areas and so did they. Two teams fighting for a playoff [spot]. The fans got entertained. … Things are going to go right down to the wire, but it was a fun game to be part of." -- Panthers coach Tom Rowe

 

"Not easy to jump into a new team like that and get your line going. He didn't have much ice time first half of the game, and then he got to play a little more. We talked about it, stay patient and energy is going to come. Last 10 minutes, every time we were on the ice we created something. There's a lot to build on. It's a good feeling." -- Flyers forward Jakub Voracek on playing with Valtteri Filppula, acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, and Brayden Schenn

 

"Personally, I gave Florida a point, so it's frustrating and I have to be better. But you know what, the guys battled back and the way we played tonight was great. If we play like that, we're going to win a lot of games." -- Flyers captain Claude Giroux on his turnover that led to Aaron Ekblad's shorthanded goal

 

Need to know

The Panthers called up goaltender Reto Berra from Springfield of the American Hockey League with Luongo injured. … The Flyers went 0-for-3 on the power play in the first period, including a two-man advantage for 1:05 when they had two shots on goal. … Schenn extended his point streak to six games with the assist on Filppula's goal. He has three goals and four assists during that span. … The Flyers have allowed nine shorthanded goals, second-most in the League (Dallas Stars, 10).

 

What's next

Panthers: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Flyers: At the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Filppula, Voracek pace Flyers to 2-1 SO win

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